Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Department Asks Public for Suggestions to Make Regulations Less Burdensome and More Effective
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON -- The Department of the Interior today began to implement President Obama's Executive Order 13563 on “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” by asking for public comment on ways to make its regulations less burdensome and more effective. To facilitate public comment on its regulations, the Department has set up a webpage where the public can access its regulations and an e-mail in-box where the public can submit suggestions on an ongoing basis.
“The President has asked us to find ways to make the regulatory process work better for the American people and help our nation compete and win in the 21st century economy,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Through this process, we want to gather the best ideas from the public on how to fix regulations that need fixing, eliminate those that are no longer needed, and make government work better for the people we serve.”
President Obama issued his executive order on January 18, 2011, stating that our “regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation” and it must “use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools to achieve regulatory ends.”
The public's comments will inform the development of a Department-wide preliminary regulatory review plan, required within 120 days of the Executive Order. The preliminary plan will provide a process for reviewing existing significant regulations and identifying those regulations that can be made more effective or less burdensome while still achieving regulatory objectives.
The Department is seeking comments on all aspects of developing a preliminary review plan and on how it can improve its regulations to protect the environment, honor its trust obligations, manage public lands, protect endangered species, distribute and monitor water resources, and promote clean energy independence in ways that will work best for the American people. The Department is also requesting specific comments on:
• How can DOI best review its existing rules in a way that will identify rules that should be changed, streamlined, consolidated, or removed?
• How can DOI reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and choice for the public in a way that will promote its mission?
• Does DOI have rules or guidance that are duplicative or that have conflicting requirements among its bureaus or with other agencies?
• Are there rules or reporting requirements that could be improved to accomplish their regulatory objectives better?
• How can DOI best assure that its regulations are guided by objective scientific evidence?
• Are there better ways to encourage public participation and an open exchange of views when DOI engages in rulemaking?
• Is there a rule or guidance that is working well that DOI could use as a model for improving other regulations or guidance?
• How can DOI better scale its regulations to lessen the burdens imposed on small entities within the existing statutory requirements?
• Are DOI regulations and guidance written in language that is clear and easy to understand?
• What are some suggestions that DOI can use to assure that its regulations promote its mission in ways that are most efficient and least burdensome?